When trying to make grain free desserts, most recipes you'll find are nut based, which isn't so cheap. Alternatively, they use other expensive or hard to find ingredients, or are very complicated and time consuming to make.
Macaroons are a cheaper alternative to nut based grain free cookies, since coconut is generally cheaper per pound, not to mention per cup, than nuts are... The thing is- nearly all macaroon recipes that I've seen are with eggs, and since I avoid eggs, they didn't work for me. The few egg free macaroon recipes I came upon called for honey, which I didn't want to use, since it is expensive, or called for coconut flour, which I can't get locally.
Today, I came across this recipe for macaroons and I decided to play around with it. First I made a half batch to see how well it held together, and then based on that, I played around with it and came up with a few different versions, without eggs, with coconut sugar in place of white sugar, chocolate flavored, etc... It's a pretty versatile recipe, and once you have this base the possibilities for flavor are pretty endless. Ok, not endless, but you catch my drift.
One thing I have to note is that just using coconut, the sweetener, and the egg or egg replacement will leave you with a macaroon that is somewhat crumbly- adding cocoa powder or starch will not affect the flavor, but will make the macaroon be more solid and less crumbly. So it's up to you if you want to add them, based on what you're looking for in terms of end results, as well as the ingredients you want to use.
Just don't use both cocoa powder and starch in the same recipe- you can divide the batch in half and add half the amount of cocoa to one half and half the amount of starch to the other half. Or, as I said, you can leave it out entirely.
3 scant cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 large egg whites or 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds and 9 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup coconut sugar, sucanat, or sugar
1/4 cup potato starch, tapioca starch, or corn starch (optional) OR
1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond, or mint extract, or any other extract that you desire (optional)
1. If using ground flax seeds instead of eggs, mix the flax seeds with boiling water, mix well, and let sit for 10 minutes. If using egg, skip.
2. Mix all the ingredients together, making sure it is uniformly mixed. It may be a drop on the dryer end- it won't be a doughy texture.
3. Wet your hands, and take small amounts of the dough, and squeeze them together to make a clump. Put this on a lined baking tray, and then shape them however you want- you can try to make pyramid shapes, but it didn't work so well for me, so I just made mounts for the rest. Either way, you want to make sure that they are fully pressed together, because if not, they won't hold together.
4. Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size. Watch to see when the edges start browning, and then remove them from the oven.
5. Let cool fully before eating.
Have you ever eaten macaroons before? What is your favorite flavor? Have you ever made macaroons before? How have you made them, if so? What recipe did you use? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?